A spokesperson from French broadcaster France TV has issued a statement, following news of Israel broadcaster KAN’s plans to screen a comedy series featuring a French Muslim singer who is involved with a terrorism plot at Eurovision.

The series, titled Douze Points, is a three-part dark comedy thriller series directed by the award-winning Israeli director Daniel Syrkin. The series is produced by Eurovision 2019 host broadcaster KAN. It revolves around TJ, a young gay French Muslim nightclub singer.

TJ’s childhood friends — who have since become members of ISIS — pressure the singer into becoming part of their terror plot. They say they will help him win the French national final and in exchange they insist that he help sneak one of his terrorist mates into the Eurovision venue.

Plans for the series began in 2018, and pre-production was well underway when France selected its act for Eurovision 2019 — Bilal Hassani, a young gay singer from a Muslim background.

And it’s this coincidental resemblance between Bilal and the character of TJ that has raised eyebrows at the French broadcaster. But despite Israeli media reporting that broadcaster France TV was threatening to boycott Eurovision 2019 if the series wasn’t ditched, the French broadcaster has confirmed they currently have no such plans.

Speaking to Télé-Loisirs, a France Télévisions spokesperson said, “We are in regular contact with the EBU […] In the context of these discussions between channels, the Douze Points project — which we learned the existence of last week — was mentioned.”

The EBU has also commented on the issue. A spokesperson told Ynet, “The EBU is aware of the comic drama that is currently being produced in Israel (for KAN) and deals with a Eurovision-like event. The EBU gives decisive importance to freedom of expression and to the reputation of the Eurovision Song Contest. The EBU is in discussions with the host of Eurovision 2019, KAN, about the production, to ensure that the result will please both sides.”

“Suddenly these tough Mossad agents find themselves at Eurovision”

Douze Points was created by Asaf Zelicovitch and Yoav Hebel, who were inspired after pondering the idea of a terrorist attack at Eurovision. The comedy series aims to make fun of serious Mossad agents as well as ISIS terrorists, all within the extravagant setting of Eurovision.

Zelicovitch explained to Hareetz, “From a comical standpoint, there’s a lot of material to play with, because suddenly these tough Mossad agents find themselves at Eurovision with cruel ISIS operatives also having to blend in.”

Hebel also notes the comedy potential of putting ISIS agents in the LGBT-friendly world of Eurovision. “This series laughs hardest at homophobia. ISIS members are the biggest homophobes in the world, hating gay people more than anyone does, which shows their stupidity.”

When asked if the show might not impress Eurovision fans, Zelicovitch said, “We hear that all the time, but I think that when you think about the script and its funny aspects, it was the best thing to do. Obviously we’re crossing our fingers.”

Douze Points is still in production, but will tentatively screen on Israeli television in the week before the Eurovision 2019 grand final.

What do you think? Is it unfair on France for KAN to screen this before Eurovision? Will you watch the series? Sound off below!

Read more Eurovision 2019 news here

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Kikisan
Guest
Kikisan

Is this freedom of expression? Absolutely but making fun about one of the countries you are inviting is of bad taste. Holding a sign that reads “no Eurovision in Israel” is also freedom of expression but wait that’s antisemitic right?

uzhas
Guest
uzhas

France shouldn’t be mad, I’m sure this will help them get some more Israeli televote points, because it will be hilarious for them

Gurl
Guest
Gurl

What do you mean “is it unfair to France”, this could only get positive publicity to Bilal, lol

Sal
Guest
Sal

Sorry, but I think everyone needs to take a step back here, get some perspective and calm down. Let’s get some facts straight here: 1. This series was planned long before Bilal Hassani so any similarities are purely coincidence and unfortunate. 2. HOW DARE Europeans try to tell Israelis what they are or not able to find as comedy on their tv screens! Israelis live through war, the threat of terror, enemies on their borders and a way of dealing with these things that are a reality for them is COMEDY. Honestly, the audacity and orientalism of some of you… Read more »

Bella
Guest
Bella

“1. This series was planned long before Bilal Hassani so any similarities are purely coincidence and unfortunate” … Who the hell is going to believe that? Honestly, what are the chances that they would randomly create a character that is 1 French, 2 muslim, 3 gay and 4 going to Eurovision? So if I create a character that is 1 Austrian, 2 gay, 3 a bearded drag queen and 4 a former Eurovision winner, but say that all resemblance to Conchita is “purely unfortunate”, would you believe me for a second?! Don’t insult people’s intelligence please. Also, the article says… Read more »

Denis
Guest
Denis

It could potentially be funny, it does sound filled with black humour, but its tasteless to send it that close to ESC. It’s not what Bilal or anybody else needs.
Plus the humour needs to be dealt with in a sensitive way, far to many toes will be stept on.

Barcelonita
Guest
Barcelonita

Freedom of expression…end of. If people are offended or insulted or hurt by the content, well then let’s have an open conversation in society about it in the press, in chat shows, through social media. Air your views, from both sides, by all means – Thats what makes for a healthy democratic debate. But I don’t think we should start banning things…. that brings us back to a dark past and an even darker future. Everyone has the right to air their views.

Marian
Guest
Marian

It’s so wonderful that the EBU mentioned the freedom of expression. Thank you, because I almost forgot that it counts for all parties. So, it seems that good TV is considered: 1. Homophobia. 2. Islamophobia. 3. Racism. 4. Having no brains. 5. Laughing with the values of Eurovision/the European Union/the whole world in general. I have a suggestion here, one should make a show about middle aged men with daddy/mommy issues, who’re scared of losing their jobs because they usually don’t do anything and live in a country where schoolgirls are imprisoned for protesting against building on the land of… Read more »

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

The show is neither about these stuff, but you don’t actually need to read the god damn article before you bash the ‘JOOZ’, right?

Bella
Guest
Bella

Not so funny anymore when it’s joking about you, right? 😉

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

I can definitely see how funny it can be
However, that’s just a wrong time to air that…
They should at least wait for after Eurovision or cancel it totally, despite having the idea before France chose Bilal

West
Guest
West

While I can see there is a potential for a lot of good jokes in this premise there is a potential for a lot of bad ones as well. Also while good comeny can provoke – the line between funny and offensive is quite thin. It’s a difference when you throw shade at someone’s bigotry and closed mindness through a joke and when you just say a lot of insults to someone and then claim you were “just joking”. KAN needs to understand that after the treatment Bilal got it’s no wonder France TV sees this like another attack on… Read more »

Linoy
Guest
Linoy

I see that the people here don’t have a sense of humor.. Sad!

Apple
Guest
Apple

Considering the stage invaders in recent years, I think associating the contest with a terrorism plot is a really bad choice. You would think KAN would want to show the contest in a positive light and make sure people think it will be safe to go. As for the content of the show, I can’t really comment because it hasn’t aired.

ESC Eiffel
Guest
ESC Eiffel

I’m french and I’m very very sad about this information. Our country suffers a lot these days because of hate. Hate against jews, hate against gays, hate against muslims. Everywhere, all the time. Our country doesn’t need that kind of horrible clichés, by this awful “humoritic” program that is produced by KAN, just one week before Eurovision. Eurovision is for me the only program that celebrate with music, diversity and unity between the nations. We can like Bilal Hassani or not, whatever if the song is good or not. He’s just a young guy who have a dream and he… Read more »

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

What’s the source of antisemitism and homophobia? Maybe there’s a contributing factor..

Kris P. Kreme
Guest
Kris P. Kreme

The Bold And The Beautiful, episode 15237…

An American ESC Fan
Guest
An American ESC Fan

Kan, really? You really thought it was a good idea to air something like this? I don’t care if this idea came about before DE, this is still ridiculously rude. I sincerely wonder how you can even come up with this idea and get it approved.

Bella
Guest
Bella

That’s the thing: they didn’t say the idea came before DE, they said that “plans for the series began in 2018” (Bilal was announced as a participant of DE in November 2018 and was the main favorite from the start). They could totally have based this character on Bilal, this is how sneaky they are.

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

Why is KAN producing this, they should be smarter, even if Israeli people don’t have an issue with this, it’s exactly the sort of thing that could get picked up in international media around the time of Eurovision, Israel will be under scrutiny by some parts of the media, it doesn’t feel like they’re acknowledging that, or maybe they just don’t care. But surely there the same as every host nation where they want to show their country in the best light, but this is just so easy to backfire. It would be smarter to air it after Eurovision. This… Read more »

Loic
Guest
Loic

I am very offended by this. Where can I sign a petition?

Hugo
Guest
Hugo

Honestly I don’t see how a series about a terirosit attack at eurovision is remotely funny

Bella
Guest
Bella

Decades of anti-Muslim and hateful propaganda in Israel, and this is the result you get. It’s not their fault, these people have been brainwashed since they were born.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

It’s hardly a brainwash when the surrounding Muslim countries actually execute homosexuals for being gay . Not to mention all the women killed on the behalf of family honour.

Maybe it’s you who is brainwashed?

Bella
Guest
Bella

All neighboring Muslim countries don’t execute homosexuals, that is blatantly not true (Lebanon doesn’t, Jordan doesn’t). LGBT rights in a lot of Middle Eastern countries are definitely a concern (including in Israel btw, and similarly to some European countries), but by toying with the truth and implying that there are executions your intent is to create a false perception and a negative connotation in people’s mind. This is propaganda, and this is what your country has done to you since you were born. You’re doing the same thing as the producers of this show: by creating a story that is… Read more »

Bella
Guest
Bella

I’ll let people make their own opinion about your latest comment, you obviously don’t need me to lose all credibility.

I won’t argue further, there’s already a lot of hate on this thread. Making this show about Bilal (or about a character that is so similar) and airing it before Eurovision was not smart. Whether it’s intentional or not, whether it was created before DE or not, it obviously creates a lot of tensions. It is gratuitous and unnecessary, and honestly, it’s not making KAN, Israel and Eurovision look good. End of.

Tasha
Guest
Tasha

oh god…wth? are they serious> don’t find it funny , and what the point of it anyway?

Lemanic
Guest
Lemanic

At least Will Ferrell will have more tact than this, right?

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

Hmmmm…..this seem like a case of “storm in a teacup”. Strange. But I doubt France will withdraw, as had been the question raised. With their song / singer selected, I’d be happy if they did though, they had better music on offer. (sending the runner-up instead)? So no loss. But that’s another story….Seems like OTT drama to me, but let’s see what happens.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

So you say France should withdraw… by sending their runner-up. And it’s Bilal who shouldn’t go to Eurovision, cause it’s his fault that KAN produced these controversial series. Yeeeah, seems to make much sense.

Azuro
Guest
Azuro

It’s not as if the character is based on bilalw since production began before he was selected.

Kan shouldn’t have to change their programming schedule due to a coincidence 1000s of miles away in Paris. Who do the Parisians think they are???

Currikitaum
Guest

Also making a TV comedy series about a French muslim gay terrorists is not only of really poor taste but also islamophobic.

Sando
Guest
Sando

Israel is inflicted by islamic terror on a daily basis, so…

Currikitaum
Guest

So I guess is okay for Israel TV to spread hate on every muslim person in the world. That’s the definition of islamophobia.

David
Guest
David

How exactly are they “spreading hate on every Muslim person in the world”? I agree the show is in poor taste, but it’s hard to have a show about ISIS without having a Muslim character.

Dave
Guest
Dave

I get the general point of what you’re saying, but if they wanted to make a comedy show about ISIS, they couldn’t exactly have done it with Christians.

Currikitaum
Guest

KAN stop stirring drama everywhere challenge, do that challenge

Emma
Guest
Emma

Dis-gus-ting.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

this……ain’t it

noora
Guest
noora

idc if it was written before destination eurovision, they can’t possibly think it’s a good idea to broadcast this now that bilal was selected, especially just a week before the finale…

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I checked the date again. Nope, it is not April 1st. 🙁
Personally I won’t watch it. I prefer the real Eurovision.

David
Guest
David

I love Israel , and have close family there. But sometimes I wish there would just be a bit less drama…

Joe
Guest
Joe

Started it before Bilal was selected. Could be funny, but it’s hard not to think it might be in poor taste now that a French singer of Moroccan descent has in fact been chosen.

Fille
Guest
Fille

This Eurovision season has more drama than Colombian telenovelas.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Welcome to Middle East.

Tiny Can
Guest
Tiny Can

So, when a dutch comedy show makes a sketch changing Netta’s lyrics it is anti-semitism, but when Israel makes a tv series implying that Bilal is a terrorist it is comedy?

Edward
Guest
Edward

If you had the ability to read you’d realise this was thought up months before Bilal was selected. Bilal is not the target of this show. On the other hand Netta and Israel were clearly targeted by the Dutch.

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

That still doesn’t stop this from being in poor taste.

This is still saying “If you’re muslim and gay you deserve to be made fun of, on the principal of you being muslim and gay.”

This is still hurting a real-life person. Actually, not just Bilal. This is probably gonna hurt other people too.

Lewis
Guest
Lewis

The gay Muslim singer is the hero of the story. They characters being made fun of are the ISIS and Mossad agents.

noora
Guest
noora

tbh even if bilal hadn’t been selected, i’d still find this show poor taste

Lolek
Guest
Lolek

tbh both are quite tasteless.

Pastel de nata
Guest
Pastel de nata

Well, now I have a picture in my head os those ISIS agents dressed as dragqueens to infiltrate into the show, LOL, but I don’t think it was a good idea to do it before the show.

Maya G
Guest
Maya G

You have Mossad agents in drag at 0:30 in the i24 News video above.

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Damn, as if things weren’t already hard on Bilal with all the harassment he’s getting…now this too…

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Honestly…both Bilal and Mahmood are getting more hate than they deserve (they deserve none, btw).

Just because they’re arab/muslim and gay…not really fair or justified at all

Teeks
Guest
Teeks

Wait, Mahmood’s gay? If so that will be another first for italy…

noora
Guest
noora

everyone says he’s gay, but i don’t think he ever said he was (?). but i know he did perform at pride, so he’s at least an ally!

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

From what i’ve heard, yes, he’s gay. You get results when you google it, including news of him performing at pride events.

And a lot of Italians are not taking him being gay and of Egyptian descent very well…

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

I doubt he is. In an interview he said: “I’ve never said I was gay. I come from a generation that doesn’t see any difference if you have a certain skin colour or if you love a sex or the other. I am in a relationship, but I find it impolite if someone asks me whether I have a girlfriend or a boyfriend. To specify equals to distinguish.” What he basically says is that his sexual orientation shouldn’t matter to anyone and actually people should stop saying “I’m gay” or “I’m straight” because that creates boundaries. I actually agree with… Read more »

Teeks
Guest
Teeks

True enough. It doesn’t matter, apart from in terms of representation. I thought the whole controversy was around his Egyptian descent, I guess Italy hasn’t moved on so much yet 🙁

james
Guest
james

It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a terror attack at Eurovision. The security is awful! On 3 occasions, invaders have reached the stage and threatened the performers. Unacceptable.

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

Israel does not joke with security. There will be thousands of milititary to secure the area.

KESC
Guest
KESC

… and what is the point of this series?

David F
Guest
David F

Satire.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

Comedy.

Elvira
Guest
Elvira

I don’t think it’s funny to joke about terrorism…

Maya G
Guest
Maya G

In Israel it’s OK to tell jokes about terrorism and the holocaust, it’s like black people can use the N word.
To me it sounds like a lighthearted comedy, and the French broadcaster should take a chill pill. This series isn’t a part of the Esc, it’s an internal Israeli program.

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Okay but the thing is that this TV show isn’t Israeli jews making fun of themselves. It’s them making fun of gay muslim people.

It’s still a group of people making fun of a different group of people. If you’re making fun of YOURSELF, that’s one thing. But this is different and your point does not exactly apply here.

MilkShake
Guest
MilkShake

As the text states, the hero is a gay muslim, but it doesn’t make fun of him, or of muslim gays in general. Nevertheless, this is still not something to be produced or broadcasted. People are too touchy and it is clear many will find this offensive, even if it’s actually not.

Guy
Guest
Guy

Rule #1 in comedy… no one is safe!

lola
Guest
lola

hm comedy doesn’t have to be offensive to be funny but go off I guess

Sal
Guest
Sal

Oh so you’ve seen the series?

noora
Guest
noora

i don’t think france télévision is overreacting, they said they won’t withdraw anyway! but they’re obviously not pleased.. the show might not be part of the ESC, but it will air on the same channel just a few days before the final… and bilal really doesn’t need this, people were already calling him a “terrorist” on twitter before that …

David F
Guest
David F

Even if we only ever joke about sunshine, kittens, and rainbows, someone would eventually get upset and say “why do they have to make fun of rainbows”.

Aris
Guest
Aris

Drama drama dramaaaa
Next please